Jack McCartney-North Platte


North Platte (Class of 1944)

“Bullet” Jack McCartney blended speed, drive and a change of pace that made him one of the most dangerous football players of his time. Tagged as Nebraska’s best high school athlete in his sophomore year, McCartney made a name for himself in track, winning all-class gold medals in the 100- and 220-yard dashes as well as the broad jump during his junior season. An injury prevented him from defending his titles his senior year. All-state in football and a three-year basketball letterman, McCartney served in the Navy before playing football at Northwestern University. After suffering a fractured pelvis, he transferred to the University of Nebraska to complete his college education.

Duane Mendlik-Wisner-Pilger


A devotion to the sport of basketball and a pursuit of excellence helped Duane Mendlik put together a career of more than 650 victories ╨ second-highest in Nebraska boys basketball history. A 35-year stint at West Point Central Catholic and a decade at Wisner-Pilger resulted in 15 state-tournament appearances. He coached West Point Central Catholic to back-to-back state championships in 1998 and 1999 and a runner-up finish in 2003. He also has coached football and boys golf.

John Miller-Chambers/Southern Valley

Few can match the diverse success enjoyed by John Miller. A 36-year coaching career garnered seven state championships and more than 700 victories in girls’ and boys’ basketball and football. His longest tenure came as the Chambers girls’ basketball coach where his teams won five state championships, four runner-up trophies and 585 games. The Coyotes put together an 87-game win streak. After 30 years coaching girls at Chambers, he moved to boys’ basketball, first at Chambers/Wheeler Central then Southern Valley. In six years at Southern Valley, his teams notched 124 wins and captured Class C2 state championship in 2014. Miller also coached the Chambers football team for 13 years, winning 77 games and the 2007 state title.

Kethy Mettenbrink-Centura

At Centura High School, Kathy Mettenbrink was simply known as “Coach.” Her 34-year career as the Centurions girls basketball coach resulted in 549 wins, 11 state tournament appearances and two runner-up finishes. But her biggest accomplishments can’t be quantified by numbers. “She turned a lot of average players into great ones,” one of her players said. Despite its small size, Centura saw more than its share of girls become college basketball players. Mettenbrink put her all into coaching. Starting in elementary school, where she taught physical education, Mettenbrink challenged her girls physically and mentally, teaching integrity, hard work, respect, perseverance and teamwork.

RICK MEYER – Superior

Superior (Class of 1980)






When Rick Meyer spins around, the discus usually sails a long way. By the time he was named the Hastings Tribune’s Prep Athlete of the Year in 1980, Meyer had already embarked on a record-setting career. The first Nebraska prepster to eclipse the 190-foot mark, Meyer won the all-class gold medal as a junior and the Class B gold medal as a senior. Also all-area in football and basketball, Meyer accepted a track scholarship to the University of Houston where he was a three-time Southwest Conference champion, a five-time All-American (twice in the shot put) and the NCAA champion in 1985 and runner-up in 1983. His senior year he set the NCAA meet record of 209-10. Ranked in the top 10 in the U.S. for nine years, Meyer placed fifth in the Goodwill Games in Moscow in 1986 and was an alternate for the Olympics in 1992. His younger brother, Andy, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.


Wayne (Class of 1963)






Don Meyer made his mark nationally as a successful and legendary college basketball coach, setting a record with 923 wins at Hamline (MN) University, Lipscomb (TN) University and Northern State (SD), but his playing accomplishments can’t be overlooked. The only player at Wayne High School to have his jersey retired, Meyer averaged 20 points per game as a junior and 26.5 points per game as a senior for teams that were a combined 32-5. He also starred as a pitcher on Wayne’s first high school team and its American Legion team. At the University of Northern Colorado, Meyer was a four-year starter in basketball, leading the Bears in scoring his junior and senior seasons. He also went 22-2 as a pitcher on the UNC baseball team that nearly qualified for the College World Series. He has been inducted into Wayne High School, Northern Colorado and the NAIA Halls of Fame, and is the subject of the movie, My Many Sons.


Sidney (Class of 1952)






Jon McWilliams was noted for his speed. Labeled “Greased Lighting” after a three-touchdown performance against Oshkosh, the Sidney senior sprinted to Class B all-state honors in football and the 120-yard high hurdles silver medal at the state track meet, helping his team win the state title. McWilliams, who lettered all four years in high school in all three sports, was also a mainstay on the basketball team. Selected as Western Nebraska’s Football MVP by the Scottsbluff Star-Herald, McWilliams went on to earn All-Big Seven honors at Nebraska after being switched to end. One of the first black players of the modern era, McWilliams was a three-year letterman in football and ran track for the Huskers. He played one year for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Canadian Football League.

Jim “Squat” Myers – York

Athlete, Class of 1942.

Football observers heaped their praise on Jim ‘Squat’ Myers from York, calling him the state’s most outstanding player in 1941. Described as a “speedy” back who possessed a “slick change of pace,” Myers led York to an undefeated season, scoring 16 touchdowns. He also led the state in punting. He was recruited by Notre Dame. Myers earned 12 letters at York, earning all-state tournament and second-team all-state honors in basketball. He also set the conference record in the pole vault as a freshman, going on to break that record every year. He won the all-class gold medal in the pole vault his senior year. Myers’ football career at Notre Dame never materialized. The Journal Star’s all-state team (with him on it) was published on a historic day, Dec. 7, 1941, and Myers joined the military. After serving in World War II, Myers returned to play football and run track for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, lettering in 1946 and 1947.



Kent McCloughan – Broken Bow

Athlete–One who helped spark the resurgence of interest in Nebraska Cornhusker football in the second half of the 20th century was this 1961 graduate of Broken Bow High School, who was nothing short of spectacular as a prepster. Named all-state his junior and senior years in high school in football, he was then even more widely know for his speed in track, helping the red and white-clad lads of Broken Bow win the Class B state track meet three years running, 1959-61. One of the faster sprinters of all time in the 100 and 220 yard dashes, his time of 21.4 in the 220 is still high on the all-time list. As a college football player at NU, he was part of the new powerhouse established by then new head Coach Bob Devaney, being picked all-conference as a defensive back in 1964. A long-time member of the Oakland Raiders professional football organization, he found success both as a player and a top scout.

McCloughan still working in football –Huskers Headquarters

LINCOLN — Kent McCloughan worked in a Broken Bow grocery store and listened to Husker games on the radio when he was a boy. That would be the last job he held that didn’t have anything to do with football.

Today, this legend of the early Devaney years works for the Oakland Raiders organization and pushes the Raiders’ shopping cart through the halls of college football. He looks for just the right match of talent and attitude to make silver and black history.

“I spend a lot of time on the road,” he said. “Most of my job involves talking. I talk to trainers, and coaches, and other players and try to find out how much a guy loves football and how tough he is.”

He also spends a lot of time looking at film so on NFL draft day, he can answer questions in seconds and help the Raiders make just the right picks that may someday get them back to the Super Bowl.

McCloughan started Super Bowl II as a cornerback for the Raiders. Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers, with Bart Starr calling signals, beat the Raiders 33-14.

The Raiders organization got McCloughan not through the draft, but via a telephone call from a Nebraska trainer.

“I was drafted in the third round by Washington and in the 11th by Houston,” McCloughan explained. “Washington had two all-pros where I would likely play and Houston never called back. That’s when I called George Sullivan and he called Al Davis.”

The Raiders traded for McCloughan and it has been a football love affair ever since. One of his sons works with him and is also a scout. He has two other boys, one is a scout for Seattle and the other is a homebuilder in Colorado.

McCloughan had the attention of most of Big 8 schools as a senior at Broken Bow. He had offers from Colorado, Kansas, and Northwestern, but Nebraska won.

The Bill Jennings group had the ball rolling with a couple of Oklahoma upsets and Bob Devaney was on the way to Lincoln.

McCloughan spent his freshman year in the Jennings era and came out firing under Devaney as a sophomore. He scored his first of 18 career touchdowns during the 1962 South Dakota opener, a 53-0 rout. “I am proud I was one of those guys,” he said. “We got the ball rolling.” Indeed they did. In the second game, Nebraska dropped Michigan in Ann Arbor, 25-13. Nine wins and only a 16-7 Homecoming loss to Missouri and a 34-6 loss to Oklahoma ruined the Devaney era debut.

That Husker team was the only one to ever play a football game in Yankee Stadium. The Huskers beat Miami in the Gotham Bowl, 36-34.
“It was so cold the ground was frozen,” McCloughan recalled. Even in freezing cold, Husker fever was catching on. The Huskers just missed a national title in 1963 after suffering a loss to Air Force to finish the season 10-1.

“We didn’t pay well against Air Force,” he said. “Late in the game, they got behind us on a pass and we didn’t catch up. We did beat Oklahoma which was good.”

The 17-13 loss to Air Force would knock out any Husker national title hopes, but they did go on to beat Auburn 13-7 in the Orange Bowl. McCloughan helped the Huskers to a 9-2 record in 1964. That mark included a 10-7 loss to Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl.
McCloughan received All Big 8 Conference honors and All Big 8 Conference Academic honors.

Andy Meyer – Superior

2009Athlete. Class of 1989. Few have mastered an event as well as Andy Meyer. From the state record in high school to three-time All-American honors in college, to a successful collegiate coach, Meyer made the discus ring his specialty. A high school football player at Superior, asked to walk on at Nebraska; three-year letterman in basketball; It was track where Meyer awed those who saw him compete. He won the Class B gold medal in the shot put as a junior, then threw a state-record 203 feet, 6 inches as a senior – a mark that still stood at the time of his induction 20 years later. At Nebraska, he was a three-time Big 8 champion in the discus. He competed in the World University games in 1993 and the Olympic Trials in 1996. He also was a two-time Big 8 shot put champion. H was named the head track coach at the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 1999 where he coached several national champion throwers.